Full address of the Prime Minister on Vijaydashmi, Man Ki Baat.

(Man Ki Baat dated 25th October 2020)

My dear countrymen, Namaskar.

Today is the festival of Vijaydashami, that is Dussehra. On this auspicious occasion, heartiest greetings to all of you. The festival of Dussehra is one of the triumph of truth over untruth. But, simultaneously, it is also the festival of victory of patience over crises. Today, all of you are carrying on with immense patience, celebrating the festival with restraint….and hence, in our ongoing fight, our victory too is assured. Earlier, people used to throng Durga Pandals for a Darshan of Maa. The atmosphere would be almost that of a carnival…but it was not possible this time. Earlier, grand fairs used to be held on the occasion of Dussehra…but in present times, they took on a different form. The festival of Ramleela too was one of its major attractions….but now, that too has been restricted to some extent. Earlier during Navratra, the notes of Garba of Gujarat would reverberate all over….this time all grand events have been curtailed. Many more festivals are on the way in the days to come. There is Eid, Sharad Poornima, Valmiki Jayanti, followed by Dhanteras, Diwali, Bhai dooj, the Pooja of Chatthi Maiyya and the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji…..during this crisis-laden period of Corona, we have to exercise patience, observe restraint.

Friends, when we talk about festivals and make preparations for them, the first thought that strikes us is when to go to the market, what all has to be purchased. Children especially are enthusiastic about it, wondering what they would receive this time in the festival season. The fervour of festivals and the glitter and sparkle of the marketplace are interconnected. But this time when you go shopping, do remember our resolve of ‘Vocal for Local’. While purchasing items from the market, we have to accord priority to local products.

Friends, amid the gaiety of festivities, we should spare a thought for the lockdown period. During the lockdown, we closely came to know about those members of society, without whom our lives would be miserable. Sanitation workers, brothers and sisters working as domestic helps, local vegetable vendors, milkmen, security guards….we have now felt the significance of their roles in our lives in a better way. During the moment of crisis, they were with you; they stood by all of us. Now, during the festivities, amid the rejoicing, we must take them along. I earnestly urge you to ensure, in whatever way, in making them a part of your celebrations. Treat them as members of your own family…..you will see for yourself  how your joy rises by leaps and bounds. Continue reading

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Prime Minister whose achievements could not be discussed in public.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the national hero whose heroism is yet to be made public:

The world is fighting a war and today is second death anniversary of Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The world does not know who started this war but we do know that our first concern is Corona Virus and second is to protect our borders. Unless you are born in this millennial or little earlier, you may not have noticed the difference. Take it from me that the stance of India is different from what it used to be. Especially from the time of Kargil war in 1999. So what changed and what Atal Bihari Vajpayee has to do with it? Everything.

If we set aside rhetoric, three leaders actually gave a direction to India. Sardar Patel set the India free from possible disintegration as was planned by British by handing over a continent size country in the hands of about 600 rules without any paramount ruler. His role is acknowledged. The second leader is 9th Prime Minister of India (between 21 June 1991 – 16 May 1996) P. V. Narasimha Rao (or Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao) who unleashed the economic power by unyoking India’s economy from the Nehruvian Licency Raj of crony capitalism and led India to market economy. The third leader is Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a soft spoken and a poet, who did what no one could have expected of him and most of his policies are under the wraps as it is a matter o state secret. He ushered India on the path of becoming a hard military power. Of course he laid foundation of victory of BJP, in a way that nobody noticed it. This is going to be multi part article, so bear with me. It will take a few days to explain all matters. First a short biography as per website of BJP:

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the overview:

Born on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to Shri Krishna Bihari Vajpayee and Smt. Krishna Devi, Shri Vajpayee brings with him a long parliamentary experience spanning over four decades.

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Speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Aatmnirbhar Bharat.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s addressed to the Nation, late in the day. After Greetings to fellow citizens he high lighted that “for over four months the global community has been in the fight against Corona virus and during this period more than 42 lakh people across the world have been infected with Corona. More than 2.75 Lakh people have died tragically. In India too, people have lost their near and dear ones.I express my heartfelt condolences to all.”

He added the gravity of situation:

“Friends, a virus has destroyed the world. Crores of people around the world are facing a crisis. World all over is engaged in a battle to save precious lives. We have never seen or heard of such a crisis. This crisis is unthinkable as well as unprecedented for mankind.”

However-getting exasperated, losing heart or getting shattered, is not acceptable to the mankind. We have to remain vigilant, closely monitor it, follow the rules of engagement in such a war, save ourselves and move ahead. Today, when the world is in crisis, we must strengthen our resolve. Our great resolve will help overcome this crisis.

Friends, we have been hearing since the last century that the 21st century belongs to India. We have seen how the world was before Corona and the global systems in detail. Even after the infliction of the Corona crisis, we are constantly watching the situation as it unfolds across the globe. When we look at these two periods from India’s perspective, it seems that the 21st century is the century for India. This is not our dream, rather a responsibility for all of us.

But what should be its trajectory?

The state of the world today teaches us that a (AtmaNirbhar Bharat) “Self-reliant India” is the only path .It is said in our scriptures – EshahPanthahThat is – self-sufficient India.

As a nation today we stand at a very crucial juncture. Such a big disaster is a signal for India,it has brought a message and an opportunity.I will share my perspective with an example. When the Corona crisis started, there was not a single PPE kit made in India. The N-95 masks were produced in small quantity in India. Today we are in a situation to produce 2 lakh PPE and 2 lakh N-95 masks daily. We were able to do this because India turned this crisis into an opportunity.

This vision of India – turning crisis into opportunity- is going to prove equally effective for our resolve of self-reliant India.

Friends,

Today the meaning of the word self-reliance has changed in the global scenario. The debate on Human Centric Globalization versus Economy Centralized Globalization is on. India’s fundamental thinking provides a ray of hope to world. The culture and tradition of India speaks of self-reliance and the soul is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

India does not advocate self-centric arrangements when it comes to self-reliance. India’s self-reliance is ingrained in the happiness, cooperation and peace of the world.

This is the culture which believes in the welfare of the world, for all the living creatures and the one which considers the whole world as a family. Its premise is ‘माता भूमिः पुत्रो अहम् पृथिव्यः’ – the culture that considers the earth to be the mother. And when the Bharat Bhumi, becomes self-sufficient, it ensures the possibility of a prosperous world. India’s progress has always been integral to the progress of the world.

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1984: when brutal barbarians roamed and death danced.

Image from Outlook Magazine

Memories are terrible things. Ethereal and intangible but potent enough to spoil the reality. This is what is happening today. Today is Dhanteras, the day for worshiping the Wealth or Gods of wealth. Diwali is a festival of celebration of wealth. Happy Dhanteras to all.

Remembering 1984:

On 31 Oct 1984, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, was killed by her own body guards. The news spread like wild-fire. Special editions of news paper were published. I came to know from one such news paper. That road was strewn with torn newspapers carrying news and pictures of Indira. Roads were getting deserted. By late evening it was revealed that some Sikh pedestrians or bikers were roughed up by unknown mobs at various places.

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